Common Words and Phrases Heard in Japanese Dramas, Movies, and Anime Part 1


Every time I watch anything from a non-English speaking foreign country, I always try to listen to the conversation while reading the subtitle. It’s always interesting to learn a new language and this is why SUBTITLES ARE IMPORTANT and also why I PREFER SUBTITLES OVER DUBS. Over the years of watching Asian dramas, it’s no surprise that we’d pick up a few words here and there. I was originally going to write this into one mighty long post but I decided to break it down to several parts- starting with the Japanese words/phrases. I apologize for any mistake I may make with the original Japanese language, the romanization, and the English equivalent. I prefer to use equivalent or close equivalent rather than translation because Japanese words often don’t have a direct English translation. So, here you go!

  1. Hai (  はい)- Yes
  2.  Īe (いいえ)- No
  3. Kon’nichiwa (こんにちは)- Hello! (Greeting!) (Kon’nichiwa is also used for saying “Good afternoon”.

Moshi moshi (もしもし)- Hello! (On the phone)

  1. Ohayou gozaimasu (おはようございます)

Ohayou (おはよう)

Both are used as “Good morning”.

  1. Konbanwa (こんばんは)- Good evening
  2. Oyasumi (おやすみ)- Good night
  3. Aa (ああ)

Mattaku (まったく)

Mou ii (もう良い)

These three are used to express frustration like saying “Geez!” or “Good grief!” or something of its equivalent.

  1. Nande? (なんで)- Why?
  2. Nani? (!) (何)- What?
  3. Dare? (誰)- Who?
  4. Doko? (どこ)- Where?
  5. Dame? (だめ)- How? (Actually, this is more like “No good!” or “Too bad!”)

Nante kotta (なんてこった)- How did this happen? (What the hell?)

  1. Arigatou (ありがとう)

Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)

All of these are “Thank you” but the second one is used in formal situations.

  1. Sayonara (さようなら)

Jaa ne! (じゃあね)

Mata ne! (またね)

Bai bai! (バイバイ)

All of these are used for “Good bye”.

  1. EEEEEEH! (ええええええ!)

Bikuri shita (びっくりした)

I know the first one may sound funny but I also know you’ve heard it. They all express surprise like “OMG!”

  1. Ai (愛)- Love
  2. Kissu (キッス)- Kiss
  3. Tomodachi (友達)- Friend
  4. Garufrendo (ガールフレンド)

Kanojo (かのじょ)

Both are used to signify your one and only bae. I’ve heard both used to say girlfriend but kanojo is more likely to be used in dramas and anime.

  1. Kareshi (かれし)- Boyfriend

This is going to be a series of posts about common phrases in Asian dramas so please watch out for the rest. Thank you!

Photo is from Second Love

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